Since we’d booked a Cathay Holidays package for our trip, our ticket included a four-night stay at The Westin Sydney. The Westin Sydney was right by Sydney’s central business district, and it looked pretty modern, so all else being equal we decided to go for it for our four-night stay. Our flights to Sydney in Cathay Pacific business class were retailing for HK$24,300 per person, so the overall cost breakdown from the package brought the hotel price to around ~HK$2,500 per night. The hotel was retailing our room type for ~HK$2,700 per night, though I’m not sure if Starwood was doing their fourth-night free promotion at the time – if they were, that would’ve saved us quite a bit of money, though the promotion never crossed my mind at the time of booking.
The Westin Sydney is a category 5 hotel, so an SPG redemption would cost 12,000 points. In this case we weren’t staying in an entry level room (though the biggest difference was probably the floor we were staying on). An entry level room cost ~HK$2,100 for our dates, so paying cash would’ve been a marginally better deal.
The Westin Sydney is integrated into the No. 1 Martin Place complex, so the general impression of the hotel’s exterior is the classic, dainty building that No. 1 Martin Place is. That’s where most of the public areas of the hotel are housed, though the real hotel is in a more corporate-looking, though still nice building located behind the complex.
The hotel is located right at the intersection of Pitt Street and Martin Place – two huge streets if you’re looking to shop or eat. There’s also a side entrance by George Street, another huge shopping street. It’s a couple of minutes from the Martin Place subway station, and a 10-minute walk from Circular Quay, so location-wise this hotel gets full marks.
The Westin Sydney Exterior
Continue reading “Review: The Westin Sydney”
Greetings from Sydney! I’m midway through a stay at a chain hotel in Sydney, and it’s quite nice, despite being ever so slightly on the dated side. I’m also a fan of Sydney as a whole – it’s becoming a city I really like and can connect with, despite being rather exhausting (the pace here’s a little too quick even for me!).
I’m a frequent user of hotel gyms, though this was a first for me. I’m not sure if I like this or not, so I thought I’d share my thoughts real quick.
Continue reading “Is This The Best Gym I’ve Been To At A Hotel?”
As Singapore is a rather dated and expensive hotel market, as a family of four we were surprised to be finding the cheapest hotel fares from the Shangri-La Singapore and the Westin Singapore. The Shangri-La does seem a little dated through pictures, so we went with the latter. With prices directly quoted through email from The Westin Singapore, we were able to secure two rooms – my dad wanted an Executive Suite so there would be more space, and we were able to find that at an adequate rate at the Westin, for SGD 579 (~HK$3220) per night. The maximum occupancy for the suite was three people, so we snagged an extra Premier room for SGD 306 (~HK$1700) per night, which was a fair price, in my parents’ opinion (the entry level twin bed Deluxe rooms were out, so I would have be stuck sleeping with my father, which I’ll pay with my own allowance to avoid – he’s loud). After all, as a family of four you probably wouldn’t be able to get anything much cheaper in such an expensive hotel market, so to be able to have that extra living room, we were pretty happy. Or so we thought.
I was in charge of booking a hotel at The Westin, as through my YTHK email account, I seemed to be treated slightly better than my parents were through email (maybe I just lucked out with a series of better agents – I don’t know). Go figure that the 42-day advance purchase rate limit came as I was wrapping up a trip to Jakarta, so we were left with the SPG exclusive prepaid rate as I got back, where the suite set us back SGD 717 (~HK$3990) per night and the premier room set us back SGD 341 (~HK$1900) per night. At this point all the other options had also gone up in price, so as cranky as we were by that point, our family made a collective decision to spring for the Westin anyway.
Keep in mind that the Westin Singapore is an SPG Category 6 hotel, so a deluxe room would’ve set us back 20,000 Starpoints. The Deluxe Rooms were on sale for SGD 272 (~HK$1520) for our dates (they were out by the time the 42-day prepaid rate expired, so I can’t speak for that), so I’m confident cash would have been the better deal.
We flew in on Singapore Airlines A380 premium economy in the morning, and had arranged transport to get us and our bags to the Westin. We made it to the hotel at around 7:30 PM, where we were greeted by bellmen at the door.
The Westin Singapore Driveway
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The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Wing Business Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong
Plaza Premium Airport Experience Zone Taipei Taoyuan
Cathay Pacific 405 A330-300 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Arrival Lounge Hong Kong
While the Mandarin Oriental was a great choice in Taipei last time and came at a similar price point, I wanted to try something different this time round. One hotel I’d been dying to review was the W Taipei – while I’d stayed here before, it was before I started the blog, and I remember the experience being really “fun” in a nice way.
I was curious to know if the hotel would be as good under working standards, now that I’m spending 75% of my time in Taipei in a hotel room working. I know that universally W hotels aren’t amazing when it comes to design, so I was excited to give the W Taipei a revisit to see if my opinions changed at all after a second stay.
The exterior of the hotel is modern – it looks better at night, while looking rather industrial during the day, but it’s definitely easy to spot.
W Taipei Exterior
Continue reading “Review: W Taipei”
I’ve been pretty busy working the past few days, but that doesn’t take me way out of the world. I’ve been observing Starwood and Marriott’s merger the past few days, and I’m sure all of you readers have as well.
So I guess it would be nice to nail in the hammer and make sure y’all know that Marriott and Starwood have tied the knot on September 23rd, 2016.
W Taipei Wonderful Room
Continue reading “Marriott and Starwood Tie the Knot…Any Guest Writers Want To Help Me Cover This?”